Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC announced Tuesday they will continue to combat the Colombian State until Bogota is willing to hold peace talks “and eliminate the structural causes of the conflict.”
The FARC press release came the day after the 10th anniversary of the ending of the last peacetalks between rebels and government when “immense hordes of mercenary soldiers, trained by gringo advisers were sent to squash us.”
According to the guerrilla commanders, “millions of Colombians were victims of state terror in the countryside and cities” in the past ten years while “the media themselves denigrated the revolutionary insurgency, persisting in presenting the leaders of ‘paramilitarism’ as saviors of the nation.”
In the statement, the FARC also takes a swing at the U.S. which has supported the Colombian state in combating drug trafficking and the FARC.
“The Pentagon promoted their worldwide preventive war qualifying everybody who opposed the policies of the empire as terrorists,” the guerrilla command said.
The FARC vowed to “defend the ideas of life, national sovereignty, democracy and social justice with arms” while saying they are willing to hold peace talks with the government “about the only political solution with definitely ends confrontation: the elimination of the causes of the conflict. Without sticks and carrots, respecting the Colombian people.”
In a response, President Juan Manuel Santos said “we will continue our fight against terrorism, crime and violence, with everything within our reach.”
Nevertheless, the president said he would reach out a hand if armed groups “make the responsible decision” and abandon violence.
The FARC and the smaller ELN have been fighting the Colombian state since 1964. Both groups are determined terrorist groups by the U.S. and have been fiercely criticized by human rights groups for kidnapping, recruiting children, using landmines and attacking civillian targets. Both groups have repeatedly said they are willing to hold peace talks, but refuse to do so under conditions laid out by the Colombian government that demands the release of hostages and the end of terrorist activity.